American politics has become so dysfunctional that name-calling seems to take precedence over policy-making, even as the nation faces critical challenges like a faltering economy and rising fiscal debt. The mainstream media, for example, threw itself into a tizzy earlier this year covering the back and forth between Senator John McCain and Governor Chris Christie and Senator Rand Paul over growing support for libertarian thought within the Republican Party. Senator McCain derided Senator Paul and likeminded leaders as “wacko birds”, with the latter striking back by referring to the former as “moss covered”. Several months later, disagreement over issues of national security, privacy and government spending resulted in Senator Paul describing Governor Christie as the “king of bacon”, an unsubtle jab at the New Jerseyan’s weight. And these are just recent examples of intraparty bickering, with acrimony now routine between elected officials and politicos of the two major parties at all levels of government.
However, members of the Millennial Action Project (MAP) believe that political gridlock and dysfunction are not inevitable and that fostering a more solutions-oriented politics begins with emulating the values of the Millennial generation. Data indicates that the rising generation is highly collaborative by nature and transcends rigid party affiliation. After all, Millennials grew up in a still ongoing era of technological innovation and are thus defined by an entrepreneurial, optimistic, and pragmatic worldview.
Thus, MAP proposes that “by promoting Millennial values, advancing Millennial ideas, and fostering future-oriented leadership, we can disrupt today’s political stagnation and create a more constructive environment for forward-looking policymaking.” Simply put, whether you’re liberal, libertarian, or anything in between, political labels shouldn’t hold people back from genuine dialogue and working together to formulate smart policy.
If you too feel that it’s possible to be principled without being hyperpartisan and that Millennials need to be more outspoken about driving the debate of ideas in America, check out the Millennial Action Project website and learn more about the organization and its programs. Furthermore, please join supporters of MAP on Capitol Hill this afternoon, Wednesday, September 18th for the organization’s official launch and that of the affiliated Bipartisan Congressional Future Caucus, co-chaired by Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL) and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI). The event will future a panel of both Congressional co-chairs, along with Steven Olikara, Executive Director & Co-Founder of MAP, Aneesh Chopra, former U.S. Chief Technology Officer, and Scott Case, founding CEO of Startup America Partnership and founding CTO of Priceline.com, with John Stanton, D.C. Bureau Chief of BuzzFeed as moderator. You can submit questions for the panel and voice your support by tweeting @MActionProject or #FutureCaucus.
For more information, go to http://millennialaction.org/launch. Help MAP make creative cooperation—rather than ideological conflict—the dominant mode of American politics!
Clifton Yin is a domestic policy advisor at the Millennial Action Project, a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit.